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American democracy and the “disposition matrix”

By Joseph Kishore, 31 October 2012

The media and political establishment have responded with near total silence to the Washington Post’s revelation last week that the Obama administration has transformed extra-judicial assassination into a permanent practice of the US government.

Australian Labor government “excises” entire country to bar refugees

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 October 2012

Australia will effectively become a legal black hole for refugees, undocumented workers, and anyone else without recognised legal status.

Storm’s damage to aging infrastructure leaves New York City paralyzed

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2012

Flooding from Hurricane Sandy has left New York, America’s largest city and financial capital, paralyzed because of damage to aging transit and power infrastructure.

SYRIZA supports Greek government as it negotiates new austerity measures

By Christoph Dreier, 31 October 2012

Amid massive opposition to the new austerity package, the largest opposition party, SYRIZA, has pledged its support to the Greek government.

Separatist parties gain in Spanish regional elections

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 31 October 2012

The collapse in support for the governing Socialist Workers Party benefited separatist parties in regional elections in the Basque Country and Galicia.

SEP conferences in California outline the socialist perspective in the 2012 elections

By our reporters, 31 October 2012

This past weekend, the SEP held regional conferences in Los Angeles and Berkeley, California. This coming weekend, conferences will be held in New York City and Detroit.

Irish teachers demonstrate in Dublin against pay cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 31 October 2012

A protest of between 2,000 and 3,000 teachers took place outside the Irish parliament last Wednesday.

A quarter of Spain now unemployed

By Alejandro López, 31 October 2012

The Spanish ruling class is committed to a policy of class war, backed by police violence and state repression.

$100 million contribution to New York’s Central Park

By Clare Hurley, 31 October 2012

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson has given $100 million to the private non-profit conservancy that maintains Central Park in New York City last week.

Hurricane Sandy leaves 8 million without power in US

By Kate Randall, 31 October 2012

The widespread damage wrought by Sandy is spread across 12 states, with 40 dead and more than 8 million without power.

New Zealand Maori business elite sues for water ownership

By Tom Peters, 31 October 2012

The Mana Party, trade unions and pseudo-left groups are supporting a push by Maori business interests to profit from the government’s asset sales.

The New Anti-capitalist Party and the expulsion of the Roma from France

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 31 October 2012

The NPA attempts to hide its political culpability in the persecution of the Roma by maintaining a virtual silence on the subject.

US employs former child soldiers as mercenaries

By Sybille Fuchs, 31 October 2012

The US is increasingly using private security forces to wage its wars and maintain its occupation of countries after the withdrawal of regular troops.

Letters from our readers

By , 30 October 2012

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

South Korean unions enforce new auto productivity benchmarks

By Ben McGrath, 30 October 2012

The union sell-out of the campaign by auto workers will create more onerous working conditions.

One week to Election Day in America: The real choice for workers

By Andre Damon, 30 October 2012

As the 2012 presidential election campaign heads toward its ignominious conclusion, the right-wing and anti-democratic character of the entire process is becoming ever more clear.

Gillard government releases “Australia in the Asian Century” White Paper

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2012

The White Paper entitled is based on a fraud—that the economic rise of Asia will continue inexorably into the indefinite future.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 October 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

US third party debate presents no alternative for working class

By Eric London, 30 October 2012

Four candidates met in Chicago last Tuesday for what was billed as the first Third Party Presidential Debate.

Poverty, hunger and inequality grow in Spain

By Alejandro López, 30 October 2012

The European recession has increased suffering among the Spanish people.

Lufthansa pushes ahead with job cuts

By Ernst Wolff, 30 October 2012

Lufthansa management has announced details of its plan to outsource and cut jobs.

Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists ally with Sawiris tycoon, ex-Mubarak officials

By Johannes Stern, 30 October 2012

The misnamed Revolutionary Socialists have established a de facto alliance with members of Egypt’s financial aristocracy and elements of the old Mubarak-regime.

Australian government pledges further pro-business industrial relations reform

By Terry Cook, 30 October 2012

Australian unions have endorsed Labor’s planned changes to industrial relations laws that undermine workplace protections.

Massive hurricane hits Northeastern US

By Fred Mazelis, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy brought deadly winds, rain and storm surges to an area of 60 million people.

The rise of separatist agitation in Europe

By Chris Marsden, 30 October 2012

The growth of separatist movements throughout Europe is a retrograde development that cuts across the critical struggle to unite the working class in opposition to the social counterrevolution being carried out under the auspices of the European Union.

Fighting erupts between Western-backed “rebels” and Syrian Kurds

By Bill Van Auken, 30 October 2012

Fierce fighting erupted between Western-backed insurgents and Kurds in Syria amid growing threats of a Turkish intervention.

France’s New Anti-capitalist Party conceals plans for historic attack on European auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 30 October 2012

As European automakers and trade unions prepare job and wage cuts, the NPA is advancing justifications for their reactionary policies.

SEP campaigns for November 3 regional conference in New York City

By Sandy English, 30 October 2012

SEP supporters campaigned over the weekend in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx, the second-largest private housing development in the US.

The World Series and militarism

By James Brewer, 30 October 2012

Major League Baseball has taken every opportunity to infuse the World Series with patriotism and the glorification of war.

SEP campaign teams win support for Detroit regional conference

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 October 2012

SEP campaign teams have visited schools, workplaces and markets in the Detroit area over the past week, winning support for the November 4 Midwest regional conference, Socialism and the 2012 Elections.

Australian government’s new mining tax raises zero revenue

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 October 2012

The loss of revenue will trigger further regressive spending cuts as the government seeks to deliver the budget surplus demanded by the financial markets.

The New York Times and Washington Post endorsements of Obama

By Patrick Martin, 29 October 2012

The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune have all endorsed Obama as the best candidate to impose major cuts in social spending.

This week in history: October 29-November 4

By , 29 October 2012

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Sri Lanka: Tamil party to resume talks with government

By W.A. Sunil, 29 October 2012

The TNA has clearly come under pressure from India regards the failure to resolve the Tamil question as an obstacle to New Delhi’s ambitions in Sri Lanka.

Swiss Bank UBS to lay off 10,000 employees

By Andre Damon, 29 October 2012

UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, plans to lay off one sixth of its global workforce, according to sources cited by the Financial Times.

Monument for Sinti and Roma victims of Nazis highlights German government hypocrisy

By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 October 2012

On October 24, a central memorial for the 500,000 Sinti and Roma murdered by the Nazis was unveiled in Berlin.

Newark, New Jersey teachers union pushes “pay for performance” plan

By Phyllis Scherrer, 29 October 2012

The teachers union and the Newark, New Jersey school board have reached a tentative contract on a "pay for performance" plan.

BBC program exposes 1984 police frame-up of striking miners

By Dave Hyland, 29 October 2012

Inside Out, broadcast on BBC One Monday night, alleges that 100 witness statements made by officers policing the miner’s mass picket of Orgreave coking plant on 18 June 1984 were fabricated.

Wolfgang Brenner’s Hubert in Wonderland: A life in the shadow of Stalinism

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 October 2012

The well-documented story of a boy from a small village in Germany’s Saar region, who travels to Moscow at the age of ten in late 1933. He is destined never again to see his homeland or most of his family.

Striking South African miners oppose rally called by official unions

By Julie Hyland, 29 October 2012

Saturday’s rally by South Africa’s COSATU union federation and the National Union of Mineworkers only exposed the hostility of broad masses of workers toward the official unions.

A reader reviews Tsar to Lenin

By , 29 October 2012

A WSWS reader has written in with a comment on the unique documentary film Tsar to Lenin, available from Mehring Books.

US health officials find mold at facility at center of meningitis outbreak

By Kate Randall, 29 October 2012

FDA investigators found foreign “greenish-black” material in vials of an injectable steroid during a recent inspection of the New England Compounding Center, among other problems.

Interview with historian James McPherson: 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation

By Tom Mackaman, 29 October 2012

McPherson is professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and the author of a number of books on the Civil War, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom.

French president Hollande acknowledges 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 29 October 2012

On the 51st anniversary of the killing of hundreds of unarmed Algerian protesters by Paris police, François Hollande offered the first official recognition that the event actually occurred.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 October 2012

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

US sought use of British bases for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 October 2012

US access to military bases on Cyprus, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia would significantly boost the Pentagon’s ability to wage round-the-clock air strikes against Iran.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles

By Bryan Dyne, 27 October 2012

Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has been barred from further cycling competition by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

French government bails out automaker PSA

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 27 October 2012

On Thursday the French government announced a €5 to 7 billion bailout of carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën.

Conflicts within EU stall Irish debt deal

By Jordan Shilton, 27 October 2012

The Irish government’s aim of securing a write-down on state debt by the end of October has failed amid growing conflicts within the European Union.

Further cuts leading to collapse of Greek health system

By Christoph Dreier, 27 October 2012

One of the hardest hit victims of the austerity program dictated by the EU and the IMF is the Greek health sector.

Ford Europe plant closures threaten thousands of jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 27 October 2012

Ford Europe announced the closure of three factories this week, threatening the jobs of tens of thousands of auto workers.

Hungarian premier steps up nationalist rhetoric

By Markus Salzmann, 27 October 2012

In early October the Hungarian premier Victor Orban delivered a bloodcurdling tirade placing himself firmly in the camp of the extreme right.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 October 2012

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Arbitrage: False advertising

By Joanne Laurier, 27 October 2012

Robert Miller, a powerful Wall Street figure, is trying to sell his business to cover losses from a bad investment. His seemingly idyllic personal life falls apart after a car accident in which his mistress is killed.

US suit vs. Bank of America: No criminal charges despite “spectacularly brazen” fraud

By Barry Grey, 27 October 2012

Not a single high-level banker has been prosecuted, let alone jailed, since the Wall Street crash of September 2008.

Dow Chemical to cut 2,400 jobs, close 20 plants

By Kate Randall, 27 October 2012

A steady stream of job cut announcements continued this week led by Dow Chemical Co., which will be eliminating about 5 percent of its global workforce.

Texas police helicopter fires on immigrants, killing two

By Bill Van Auken, 27 October 2012

The killing of two fleeing immigrants by airborne Texas Rangers is only the latest in a growing list of deadly incidents on the US-Mexico border.

A new downturn in the global economy

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2012

There are increasing signs that the global economy is about to enter a new period of financial turbulence, coupled with deepening recession in a growing number of countries.

No decision on coronial inquiry into Bankstown fire for months

By Richard Phillips, 27 October 2012

The response by all levels of government to the plight of Euro Terraces fire victims has been one of callous indifference.

European Central Bank chief Draghi reassures German parliament: Austerity will continue

By Alex Lantier, 26 October 2012

Draghi’s visit aimed to reassure the bourgeoisie that the ECB’s trillion-euro handouts to the banks will not stop attacks on workers’ social rights.

US seeks to bar testimony on torture in military trial of alleged 9/11 plotters

By Don Knowland, 26 October 2012

Government motions to preclude the alleged 9/11 plotters from testifying about their detention and torture have been submitted to the military commission that is trying the defendants for war crimes.

George McGovern: Liberal standard-bearer at a turning point in US politics

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2012

The McGovern campaign marked the rise of identity politics as the principal platform of the Democratic Party.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 26 October 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Institutionalized state assassinations and the November 6 election

By Bill Van Auken, 26 October 2012

With barely a week and a half to go until the November 6 presidential elections, the entire spectrum of the American pseudo-left is exerting maximum efforts to turn out votes for Obama with the claim that the reelection of the incumbent Democrat would represent the “lesser of two evils.”

Berlin protest against inhuman treatment of refugees in Germany

By our correspondents, 26 October 2012

Dozens of refugees have been camping out in a central square in Berlin to protest against their barbaric treatment by the German state.

Australian opposition under fire over budget update response

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 October 2012

Opposition leader Tony Abbott faces sharp criticism within ruling circles over his perceived failure to press for more savage austerity measures.

The issues facing teachers in the 2012 elections

By Phyllis Scherrer (SEP US vice presidential candidate), 26 October 2012

The following statement was issued by Phyllis Scherrer, the Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate in the 2012 elections. Scherrer is a teacher in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Sri Lankan defence secretary initiates communal campaign over 13th amendment

By K. Ratnayake, 26 October 2012

The call for constitutional change is aimed at stirring up anti-Tamil sentiment to divide working people amid widespread discontent over the government’s austerity policies.

80 top CEOs tell Obama, Romney to slash social spending

By David Walsh, 26 October 2012

The chief executives of 80 large American corporations have issued a “Deficit Manifesto,” calling on the next president to make far-reaching “changes in the federal budget.”

Sudan accuses Israel of bombing military factory in Khartoum

By Johannes Stern, 26 October 2012

Early Wednesday morning, an explosion hit the Yarmouk Military Industrial Complex in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

EU and the US prepare military intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 26 October 2012

European and US diplomats and military experts are preparing for a military intervention in Mali.

Strike leaders arrested following testimony before Marikana massacre inquiry

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Four miners who testified Tuesday before the Farlam Commission into the Marikana massacre were immediately arrested by police. They are to be charged with murder.

South Africa's unions use mass sackings and murder to suppress miners

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Mass sackings, police intimidation and brutality are being employed in an effort to bring the wave of strikes in South Africa’s mines to a close.

Auto workers and the 2012 elections

By , 25 October 2012

The following statement addressed to auto workers was issued by Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president.

French Socialist Party government endorses austerity in debate over Gallois report

By Alex Lantier, 25 October 2012

The French government is stressing its plans for austerity, after the press pushed for it to endorse a pro-austerity report by ex-EADS chief executive officer Louis Gallois.

US-Israeli preparations for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2012

The US and Israel are currently conducting their largest-ever joint military exercise to ready Israel’s anti-missile systems for a conflict with Iran.

Deepening social inequality and poverty in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 25 October 2012

Two recent reports detail the falling incomes of working people and rising levels of poverty, especially among children.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 October 2012

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Obama institutionalizes state assassinations

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2012

The Obama administration has created a new extra-legal system known as the “disposition matrix” to institutionalize the selection and targeting of enemies of the US state for assassination.

National Health Service facing deep cuts across Scotland

By Jordan Shilton, 25 October 2012

In line with the moves by the UK government to implement wholesale privatisation and end the universal provision of healthcare, the regional administration in Edinburgh and local authorities are imposing deep budget cuts and reducing staff numbers across Scotland.

Romania: 3,500 jobs threatened at Oltchim chemical plant

By our correspondents, 25 October 2012

The situation of 3,500 workers at Romania’s Oltchim chemical works remains uncertain following the failure of the Social Democratic government led by Victor Ponta to reopen the plant and provide funds for unpaid salaries.

BAE-EADS merger fails due to mounting antagonisms between major powers

By Jean Shaoul, 25 October 2012

The proposed merger between Britain’s BAE and EADS, the Franco-German civil aviation corporation, has collapsed.

Australian mining unions ram through new productivity agreement

By Richard Phillips, 25 October 2012

The large minority vote against the agreement underscores the deep hostility of the Queensland coal miners towards the company, and growing distrust and opposition to the unions.

The International Socialist Organization and the 2012 US elections

By David Walsh, 25 October 2012

The ISO operates as an advocacy group in and around the Democratic Party, seeking to improve opportunities for the middle class social layers for which it speaks.

French government opens up public bank for small businesses

By Pierre Mabut, 25 October 2012

France’s Socialist Party (PS) government has announced the launching of its Public Investment Bank (PIB) targeting small and medium-sized companies.

Another EU memorandum for Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 25 October 2012

On Wednesday, the Greek government announced it had reached an agreement with the troika (the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund) on a new austerity package.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 25 October 2012

A Massachusetts woman committed robbery to pay her landlord, apartment building collapses highlight shoddy construction practices and more Americans say they won’t be able to afford retirement.

Ben Affleck’s Argo: An embrace of US foreign policy

By Dan Brennan, 24 October 2012

Argo, a new political thriller starring and directed by Ben Affleck, is based on declassified information about a little-known episode during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.

Island dispute between Japan and China grows more tense

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2012

By encouraging Japan to aggressively assert its interests, the Obama administration is responsible for the current tensions with China.

Indian tire maker Apollo set to buy Cooper Tire

By Shannon Jones, 24 October 2012

The India tire maker Apollo Tyres is set to buy Cooper Tire, raising a new threat to the jobs and pensions of workers involved earlier this year in a three-month lockout

Four Afghan children killed in US raid

By Bill Van Auken, 24 October 2012

The killing of Afghan children in a US raid and the disappearance and murder of civilians at the hands of occupation troops have provoked growing anger and protests.

Union prepares to sell out Western Australian port dispute

By Terry Cook and Joe Lopez, 24 October 2012

The unsafe conditions on the waterfront are the legacy of decades of union betrayals.

UK coal mine faces closure

By Dave Hyland and Malcolm Day, 24 October 2012

One of Britain’s last deep coal mines, Maltby, faces closure as a result of geological problems at the site.

Federal judge bans strike by Seattle airport refueling workers

By Hector Cordon, 24 October 2012

A federal injunction has blocked a strike by workers who fuel 75 percent of the planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Earth-mass planet found orbiting the nearest star

By Bryan Dyne, 24 October 2012

A planet with similar mass to the Earth has been found orbiting α Centauri B, our closest interstellar neighbor.

After the US presidential debates: The political issues facing the working class

By Joseph Kishore, 24 October 2012

The American people are presented with a “choice” between two candidates who have, in the end, no significant political differences.

Poverty, hunger and inequality grow in Spain

By Alejandro López, 24 October 2012

There has been a dramatic rise in poverty, hunger and inequality across Spain since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008.

Largest tainted meat recall in Canadian history

By Vic Neufeld, 24 October 2012

E. coli bacterial contamination originating at an XL Foods’ meat processing plant in Brooks, Alberta has seriously sickened sixteen people and prompted the largest meat product recall in Canadian history.

DuPont cutting 1,500 jobs

By Kate Randall, 24 October 2012

DuPont announced 1,500 job cuts on Tuesday, as the chemical company slashed its annual forecast and reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit. The news signaled that demand for the company’s paint and solar products is slipping around the world.

Russian President Putin advocates ban on headscarves in schools

By Clara Weiss, 24 October 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly spoken out in favor of a ban on headscarves in Russian schools.